I now have two grandkittens. Yes…I’m a grandma to two kittens that are always getting into mischief one way or another. At the library last week, I saw a children’s book with a cat on the cover, and because I have kittens on my mind these days, I had to take a closer look. It was the story of a Japanese kitten, and I realized it was a must-read for me because I am currently participating in Dolce Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge #16, which is a celebration of Japanese literature and culture, and Sumo Wrestling is a major part of that culture.
It turns out that this book, called SumoKitty, by David Biedrzycki, is about a very hungry stray kitten who follows the sumo wrestlers home and mooches free food from them. The matron of the training center (their “heya”) doesn’t like having a stray around, so shoos him out of the house. However, when mice find their way into the home, and one of the sumo wrestlers is terrified of mice, they welcome SumoKitty back into the home where he works hard to become a really good mouser.
It’s just a fun book to read, and it’s also quite educational. I didn’t know anything about Sumo Wrestling, and this little book is packed with information on this very old traditional sport! It’s a great introduction to that part of Japanese culture, and my finding it was serendipitous in numerous ways because this week in Japan is the beginning of the January Grand Sumo Tournament!
So…you can download the ebook version of this little book to become familiar with some of the basics of Sumo (and find out what happens to SumoKitty!), then go to this link to learn everything you need to understand Sumo Wrestling:
And then watch the Grand Tournament this week, starting on January 8th! It will be a complete immersive cultural experience!